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Data Harmonisation and Interoperability in the Space Industry by Lisa Haskell, Airbus Defence and Space

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society

‘Data’ is arguably the word of our age. Personal data, economic data, heritage data…space data; and all of it is digitised. If we look to the pioneers of digital data we see experts in their field, working with punch cards and a room sized computer. And now? A three year old can access anything on the internet by “asking Google”. This has been achieved in no small part by the harmonisation of data standards in the IT domain.

This is the path I see for users of space data. We are moving rapidly from an era where space data is handled only by the select knowledgeable few to a time when an aid worker in the field wants to say to their tablet, “show me the best place to build shelters”. The increasing presence of so-called New Space companies are disrupting the industry, making more satellite data available more quickly and more cheaply than ever before. While this is wonderful news for data users there remains a bottleneck in the sharing of this data. It is no good for our hypothetical aid worker to ask to see the best place to builder shelters if they can only use data from a specific, compatible, supplier for which they may have to wait three days. If we want to see efficient, fully automated data feed lines we need to harmonise the standards by which these feed lines are supplied.

Women in Engineering

In this session we will consider the impact, present existing efforts and discuss the potential future for data harmonisation in the space industry by looking at the following topics:

  1. Harmonised methodologies for calibration, validation and derivation of higher level products
  2. Product certification/traceability
  3. Data interoperability.

About the Speaker:

Lisa Haskell is the current Earth Observation (EO) Data Quality Lead for Airbus UK. In this role, Lisa works to provide management, advice and guidance on issues relating to the data quality, calibration and processing of optical EO data supplied via the existing Airbus UK EO satellite constellation.

Previous to this, Lisa lead the Copernicus data Quality Control domain for the Copernicus Data Access Service provided by the European Space Agency. In this role she and her team provided monitoring and reporting of the quality of data delivered to the ESA Copernicus project. This included considering initiatives towards the  harmonisation of factors affecting data quality across all contributing missions (e.g. cloud masking, product naming, metadata, orthorectification and BRDF), and Lisa has spoken internationally in this regard.

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